Yesterday afternoon, I decided to accompany Anna-Mei on an errand which involved hopping on a bus headed down the notorious Parramatta Road. After some brief meandering and homemade gelato in Leichardt, we decided to trek it home instead. That’s when this place caught our attention.
Now, if you live in Sydney, chances are you’ve heard of this place at least once. It’s one of those staple, must-see sights that only the locals will tell you about. I can’t even begin to explain it, except to say that inside you’ll find an array of vintage posters, well-maintained/dusted vintage tables and chairs for seating, shelves of old boxes of chocolate (most are empty), and a very long counter which separates you and an old, grey-haired man.
The man’s darkly intense eyes were watching our every move like a hawk as we tried our best to casually admire the fascinating collection of boxes and posters. The place had an eerie hush to it, and the looming darkness was only broken up by a single strip of light high up on the ceiling in the very back corner of the venue. Anna-Mei did her best to break the silence but the grey-haired man cared little for small chat; he gruffly replied, “Do you want something?” while offering one hand open, palm up.
Anna-Mei repeated herself, thinking he did not catch her first question. But the man disregarded it completely and simply repeated, “Do you want something??” while still only moving one arm. Being from California, I was immediately conscious of his other hand which remained stiffly hidden behind the counter. I was starting to get creeped out. “Oh, ummm…I don’t know…Josephine, do you want something?” Anna-Mei asked as she turned to me. Our eyes met and without a word, we both knew what the other was thinking.
Time to go home.
Intrigued yet? Click here to have a listen and learn more about the Olympia Milk Bar. You might even want to check it out the next time you’re in Sydney.